Amateur Photographer

The edge of the light

Source:   Gelada monkey, Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. The combination of creative exposure and supplemental light can yield moody and expressive wildlife photos Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm, 1/100sec at f/2.8, ISO 200, flash  


Lion, Maasai Mara, Kenya. Ian used flash to selectively illuminate the lion in the grass, and used a wideangle lens to include its surrounding environment Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 16-35mm, 1/60sec at f/3.2, ISO 640


Polar bear, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, USA. Ian waited until the setting sun was low enough for the light to be warm and colourful. Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 200-400mm with built-in 1.4x extender, 1/1000sec at f/6.3, ISO 320

‘Always shoot with the sun at your back’ is a mantra popular with many wildlife photographers. Not me. While front lighting can be attractive and is easy to work with, I prefer to photograph my wildlife subjects at the very edge of light, pushing the limits of my equipment and my creativity. Extreme and low-light wildlife photography presents many unique challenges, but the rewards for your efforts are moody and expressive images that really stand out from the crowd.

I have been

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